Softball: Ten Players to Watch for 2018

Hockomock Softball Players to Watch
King Philip junior Meghan Gorman will be one of the players to watch entering another highly-competitive Hockomock softball season. (Josh Perry/

By Staff

Players are listed alphabetically

Mady Bendanillo, Junior – Mansfield

Mansfield junior Mady Bendanillo has been one of the league’s most dynamic outfielders for the past two years, chasing down everything hit to center for the Hornets, while also being a threat at the plate and helping the Hornets return to the postseason. Bendanillo led the team with a 0.442 batting average and got on base at a 0.608 clip in 2017. She finished the season with 23 hits and a team-high 21 RBI while showing off power with six homers. Her speed on the bases and in the outfield means that she can make plays all over the field and will be hoping to get Mansfield ready for another playoff run this spring.

McKenzie Bergdoll, Junior – Attleboro

Attleboro junior pitcher McKenzie Bergdoll capped a strong sophomore season by tossing a no-hitter against Quincy in the regular season finale, which earned the Bombardiers a place in the postseason. It was an amazing finale to a season in which Bergdoll emerged as one of the league’s top starters. She finished the year with a 3.77 ERA, striking out 68 hitters in 78 innings pitched in 2017. At the plate, Bergdoll chipped in with a 0.320 batting average, and she had a 0.957 fielding percentage from the circle. With Bergdoll back and continuing to improve, Attleboro will be hoping another trip to the state tournament is in play this season.

Jaime Brown, Junior – Taunton

Taunton junior third baseman Jaime Brown is a seasoned veteran for the Tigers, as she enters her fourth year as a varsity starter. The reigning Underclassman of the Year is a mainstay at the hot corner, one of the best defensive third basemen in the league, and also one of the top hitters in the Hock. Brown batted 0.507 with 38 hits from the lead-off spot last spring, while scoring a team-high 34 runs. She also drove in 13 runs as the sparkplug for one of the most potent offenses in the league and will be counted on again this spring as Taunton eyes a league title and a deep playoff run.

Gina Carafa, Senior- Stoughton

Stoughton senior Gina Carafa has been a mainstay for the Black Knights in the circle and helped them reach the state tournament in each of the past two seasons. Carafa led the entire league in strikeouts last year, fanning 128 batters in 108 innings in 2017 while recording an ERA of 2.44 and a 1.25 WHIP. As Carafa continues to improve as a pitcher, Stoughton feels like it can challenge for a playoff spot again this spring and continue the program’s upward trajectory under first-year head coach Deb Parker, who has moved over from Sharon this season.

Hannah Davis, Senior – Foxboro

Foxboro senior Hannah Davis has sometimes flown under the radar with the big names in the Hockomock League, but she has been one of the most consistent catchers in the league and one of the league’s best bats. Davis, who is a solid defensive catcher with one of the league’s best arms, batted 0.444 for the Warriors last year, collecting 32 hits and a team-high 25 runs scored. Davis belted 13 doubles and also stole 12 bases. Showing off her outstanding approach at the plate, Davis only struck out looking once on the season. She will be counted on to try and help Foxboro get back into the state tournament picture.

Kya Enos, Senior – Taunton

Having played several positions during her four seasons on varsity, Taunton senior Kya Enos returns as the starting catcher for the Tigers and a major presence in one of the league’s most dynamic lineups. Enos was an all-star outfielder before moving back behind the plate last year, and she showed off power with a team-high four homers. The University of Maine-commit batted 0.479 on the season with 34 hits, drove in 33, and scored 18 runs while providing leadership and speed in the heart of the Taunton lineup. Enos will be counted on again this spring to help a still young Tigers roster battle for a Kelley-Rex division title and through the always competitive Div. 1 South bracket.

Bella Erti, Sophomore – North Attleboro

Stepping into the circle as a freshman in the Hockomock League can be a daunting task, but North Attleboro sophomore Bella Erti proved more than capable during a stellar rookie season with the Rocketeers. Erti faced down some of the best lineups in the state and finished with a 14-6 record and an ERA of 1.43. Erti, who had six shutouts and tossed a perfect game, was among the league leaders with 115 strikeouts and a 1.08 WHIP, while also contributing at the plate with a 0.343 average and a pair of homers. She helped North upset Taunton in the playoffs and make a run to the South semifinal. With a year under her belt, it’s Erti could be poised for an even bigger 2018.

Meghan Gorman, Junior – King Philip

King Philip junior shortstop Meghan Gorman made a huge impact for the Warriors last year both at the top of the order and in a critical defensive position. Gorman, who was named to the First Team last year, stepped right in at short and showed off one of the league’s best gloves (five errors in 72 chances) to make sure that KP didn’t miss a beat after the graduation of Ashley Hession. Gorman also led the Warriors with 41 hits, 36 runs scored, 15 extra base hits, six homers, and 15 stolen bases (without being caught). The Central Connecticut State-commit struck out only three times, constantly setting the table for the middle of the order.

Emily Piergustavo, Senior – Milford

Reigning Hockomock League MVP and Player of the Year Emily Piergustavo is back for her senior season for the defending Div. 1 state champions, and with the University of Connecticut-commit at shortstop and in the middle of the order Milford will be a favorite to repeat at the start of the season. Piergustavo batted a league-high. 0.611 with 44 hits last year. She belted six homers and drove in 36 runs while scoring 40 runs herself. She also had 10 doubles and six triples for the Hawks, while striking out just five times. With one of the purest swings in the league, Piergustavo headlines another loaded Milford lineup that is gunning for another Davenport division crown.

Jess Tomaso, Senior – Milford

Anyone hoping for a big drop-off from the defending Div. 1 state champions, may be disappointed considering the power that Milford has coming back in its lineup this spring, including senior first baseman Jess Tomaso. In her second season with the Hawks, the Providence College-commit drove in a league-best 39 runs, led the league with 45 hits, and batted 0.523 for the season. A solid defensive first baseman, Tomaso gave the Hawks extra pop in the middle of the order that few teams could match and with her return, Milford will be one of the favorites for the Div. 1 crown again this spring.

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